April 7, 2014

Everyone Dies on My Birthday. Or, Cupcakes & Panic Attacks. ~ Kristin Monk


{Warning—strong language ahead}

Everyone dies on my birthday.

No, seriously. They die, or they get divorced, or they go to rehab, or they stand me up in the restaurant while I’m wearing my fancy dress, or they reveal that underneath the charming façade they are actually a scary crazy rage monster who spends the night screaming at me in a Holiday Inn until security comes in.

Yeah. My birthday has pretty much sucked.

Please don’t think I am ungrateful. I love all of the effort; I am so thankful for all of my family and friends, the beautiful cards, the gifts and the facebook posts (don’t forget—Wednesday).

And I am especially grateful to my mom, without whom I would not have a birthday, and who really deserves my day of celebration, because I’m pretty sure I damn near killed her.

Celebrate that lady, and her valiant efforts of birthing me and raising me and getting me through life (pretty much) unscathed.

But, for me, I would really prefer to hide in a bomb shelter, or in the mountains, or on a deserted beach by myself, until the day (and several days surrounding it) has passed, and the shoes have all dropped, and I can exhale and find out where the bombs have detonated, and how much damage the anniversary of my birth has done this year.

A very nice person, who shall remain featureless and nameless (because I like him) somewhat accidentally found out that it would be my birthday on Wednesday. “You need to tell me these things!” he said. “I am going to get you a cake.”


“No, really, it’s not even a thing; please don’t get me a cake.”

“Of course you must have a cake! Okay, cupcakes then. 28 cupcakes.”

Too lovely. What did I do to deserve cupcakes? Get a little wrinklier, a tad saggier? And, I mean, a fuck of a lot older and wiser, obviously.

But can’t we just have good old proper sex (okay—outrageous, head board banging, wake the building, I-didn’t-know-you-could-do-that-but-holy-jesus sex) and a nice drink and hide under the covers lost in wine and sweaty limbs and yummy kisses until we’re sure that the city is still standing and all my relatives are still alive?

And maybe a massage. You know…if you insist.

Cupcakes make me nervous. Singing gives me hives. Cards make me cry. Gifts make me plain uncomfortable.

I know. I sound ungrateful, and probably a little crazy.

But as the day approaches, I feel the usual impending doom. The old superstitious dread.

The pressure, which is interesting, and manifold (many fold?).

To not fuck it up.

To keep everyone alive, and with all of their limbs attached.

To make sure everyone has fun, because that is really the point of the birthday, or the point that I would like it to have.

Because, really, all it does is make me uncomfortable, and like I didn’t do anything but get ripped out of a uterus (again, so sorry, Mom), to deserve the presents, and the singing (please don’t sing to me, I will dissolve into a blushing hiccupy mass of tears and snot)—and to be properly grateful, which always feels like it is never enough.

Because, really, how can I ever thank the people in my life for being so damn awesome?

Yes, you.

You’re fucking awesome.

This year, on the anniversary of my birth, let’s celebrate you. It’s been one hell of a year (it pretty much sucked until the tail end), and I couldn’t have done it without you (yes, you!). So let’s wave it goodbye with gratitude for lessons (and maybe a teensy kick in the ass) and welcome this new year with hope, and with love.

For knowing each other, for adventures, for dreams, for wishes. For the moonbeams and for the willow trees and for the words and for the things that are said with the heart and don’t need to be spoken.

For the chance to spin again. To count the stars and to marvel at the ocean tide.

This year, let’s celebrate life. All of ours.

And hey, thanks for being a part of mine.


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Editor: Travis May

Photo: Gaston/Pixoto

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